Gentle Parenting 101
If you're still not sure if Gentle Parenting is right for Christians...
Check out this article on The Moving Mama: Is Spanking Biblical?: The Truth About Biblical Discipline and 31 Reasons Moms Stop Spanking Their Kids or email me: [email protected]
Are Gentle Parenting and Attachment Parenting The Same Thing?
Okay, gentle parenting 1 0 1 is our first lesson. We are going to be covering just some of the basics here of gentle parenting.
So first of all, what is dental parenting? Well, the definition that I go by is that gentle parenting is a long-term approach to discipline that respects the child as a whole person and values the feelings of the child.
It seeks to teach children to do what's right out of a heartfelt willingness to do what's good by using love, patience, and positive words, over fear or punishment.
It sets boundaries to establish consistent and realistic expectations while allowing natural consequences to take place. It equips the child with age appropriate skills to nurture independence.
Whew, that's a long definition, but we will be getting into each piece of that. But one of the things that I really want you to hold on to right now is that it is really about a heartfelt willingness to do what's right?
So we want our children to truly desire to do the right thing. We don't want to just be controlling their behavior.
We don't want them just to do the right thing because they want to please us. We want them to have a desire to do what's right.
We want them to desire to not hurt others. We want them to desire to be kind. When they see someone who is sad, we want them to desire to clean up their dishes because they know that if they don't, it makes a mess for other people in the family so that they are someone that is just well-rounded and able to cooperate and live with others and all of that.
So that is a really important goal for us to keep in mind. Let's just talk quickly though, about what isn't gentle parenting, certain things that we wouldn't really associate with gentle parenting.
Now, as I said earlier, though, I see gentle parenting as a target. We are aiming for. So even myself, sometimes I do things in my parenting that aren't really gentle parenting things.
They're things that I try not to do. There are things that I apologize to my child for, but I'm always aiming for that bullseye aiming for the gentle parenting target.
But there are things that I don't do. There are things that I do that are outside of what is gentle parenting.
So let's just discuss some of that. This could be spanking, punishments, yelling and shouting at our children using time-outs telling them no crying, um, name calling or shaming them saying you never do anything right.
Or you're so lazy. Um, um, also I'm expecting children to behave like adults using rewards or bribes to get children, to do what they want because that doesn't develop the right motivation to do the right thing.
They're just motivated for the prize. So sticker charts, things like that. Those are kind of just the basics, but it's like anything that feels like it's disrespectful towards children or not gentle towards our children.
It's probably not in line with dental parenting, but we can mold that. We can work on that. We can see how to reach our goals in ways that are more gentle.
So here I have my six pillars of gentle parenting, which I think are each very important. And as you go through this course, they're all based.
The lessons are based on these six pillars. So we have respect, validation of feelings, positive language, a trusting relationship, natural consequences, and age appropriate skills.
We'll be getting into all of that. But I know a lot of people wonder, does gentle parenting work. Maybe you're not wondering that, but maybe the person that is the other parents of your children, your spouse, or whoever is wondering if dental parenting actually works.
But the truth is it does work, but you have to ask yourself, what is the definition of works? Because are you looking for a parenting strategy that is going to pump out kids that are behaved perfectly a hundred percent of the time right away?
Or are you looking to develop children who are strong, responsible, kind, emotionally intelligent who do eventually learn how to cooperate and all of that?
Because if you're looking for blind obedience, immediate cooperation, that's not really something that we're trying to achieve with gentle parenting.
We have a much bigger goal, a long term approach and a long-term goal. So keep that in mind. But there are many very wonderful adults running out there in the world today who were raised with gentle parenting and who are thriving, because think of what it would be like to grow up, having a parent that listens to you, who validates your feelings, who respects you, who really cares about, um, what you're going through, why you're not doing the right thing and tries to come up with solutions by working together with you.
All of that would make a really big difference. Don't you think gentle parenting absolutely works. Another question that I get is what does gentle parenting look like?
How do you know that this is, this is gentle parenting. So with dental parenting, the parent is very much in charge, but they're also respecting the child's feelings, ideas and all of that.
So it's not that the parent has just lets the children run free. That's permissive parenting. We'll talk more about that later, but the parent is firmly in charge, but also respectful and gentle, gentle parents can often appear more relaxed and calm, but it doesn't mean that they're just talking like this all the time and everything is fine.
It just means that maybe, I mean, maybe they're like that. Some can be others. It can just be more sound down to earth or relaxed.
But basically as you're in gentle parenting, you might not have as much tension and stress in your body when it comes to all the behaviors, especially as you get better and better and better at all of these skills that we'll be talking about because you will have more confidence.
And a lot of times that's the thing. Gentle parents can have more confidence in how they're parenting their kids because they know what their long-term goals are and they can feel good that the discipline that they're using is effective and gentle parenting does require a lot of intentional choices.
And sometimes it requires us to do things that are kind of harder than the more traditional or mainstream ways of parenting, because we're not just going to say, go to your room or punish them.
We have to like do all of this work that on our own level can be kind of tiring and emotional for ourselves as well.
And the last question that I get quite often is, is gentle parenting compatible with religious beliefs. Now, obviously I cannot speak into every single religious belief, but what I can tell you is that gentle parenting is that it's gentle, it's respectful.
And if your religion values children, it's safe to say that gentle parenting is compatible with religious beliefs. I can speak more directly to the Christian experience because that's more of what I have experienced in.
And I can say that yes, gentle parenting is totally compatible with Christianity. You do not have to feel like they clash.
Yes. Um, you will not be doing need to do spanking with dental parenting. And I have specific posts on my website about spanking and what the Bible says and all of that.
If you just need some assurance in that. So I will leave a link there. If that's something that you're still trying to work out though, feel free to email me and ask questions about it.
But just remember that gentle parenting is about love and not fear. That love is really at the center of what we're doing with gentle parenting.
And just one important reminder for all of dental parenting is that you are the expert of your child. I am not coming in here to try to act like I know what's best for your child because obviously I don't.
I can be the expert of my child though. And knowing the personality of your child, knowing the dynamic of your family, even knowing what you can handle, which can be different than what I can handle.
That's all very important. And so you are the expert of your child and you are the expert of yourself. I am going to teach you skills strategies, a lot of mindset shifts too, to just be able to learn, to look at things differently.
But in the end, you're going to decide what works best you are the expert here. And I am just giving you more skills and more information.
So that's it for our agenda parenting 1 0 1. So next lesson, we're going to be talking about three parenting styles.